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Thread: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Hello my wife is wanting to learn the mandolin but not spend a fortune on one until she is sure she will like it. Is the Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin a good starter Mando? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Yes. If you want to set it up yourself you might want to get a copy of Rob Meldrum's e-book where he details setting up a Rogue.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    if you feel your not up to doing a set up yourself, I would look for a used Kentucky km-150 mandolin. right here would be a good place to start looking.

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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Or a used Eastman 305. Used in either the Kentucky or Eastman would be good.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Why not post some links to those $49.00 plus free shipping Kentucky and Eastman mandolins.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Yeet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    I'm by no means an expert, but I've been playing a Rogue RM100A A-Style mando since before I knew the concept of "setting up" a new instrument. It's done just fine for me. It isn't the best sounding thing but as a beginner who was never around a mandolin it never stood out to me as sounding horrendous. As far as cheap instruments go, a lot of them seem to have trouble holding tune but mine has never had that issue. It's also been really durable; I'm incredibly clumsy. I did replace the strings recently because they started to die over the years, so maybe that made it sound better, but in my humble opinion it's a fine beginner instrument for someone who's on the fence about starting. If it's meant to be, she can always upgrade later! As the others say, happy picking!

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Rob Meldrum has noted that these mandolins are arriving better set up these days. I bought two about Christmas time for a couple of my grownup sons to mess with and I thought the setups were good enough and I didn't mess with nut adjustments. I just adjusted the bridge location a bit and put on new strings.
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    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Why not post some links to those $49.00 plus free shipping Kentucky and Eastman mandolins.
    Good catch
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    I take Mike E's point, but "not spend a fortune" doesn't necessarily mean "spend 50 bucks."

    Is $250 too much? The Rover RM-50 is all solid woods, heat-pressed, seems a decent starter instrument. Not an Eastman or Kentucky, but perhaps a cut above the Rogue.
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    Registered User Pete Summers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    I take Mike E's point, but "not spend a fortune" doesn't necessarily mean "spend 50 bucks."

    Is $250 too much? The Rover RM-50 is all solid woods, heat-pressed, seems a decent starter instrument. Not an Eastman or Kentucky, but perhaps a cut above the Rogue.
    For what it is worth, I've had 3 rogues and two Rover RM50s over the years. I agree the Rover is a cut above the Rogue but not 5 cuts above it as the price is. The only one of those five I owned that I kept was a Rogue oval hole (alas, no longer made). I'd rate it at least a half a cut above all the others . I think the Rover is maybe twice as good as the Rogue, but to me that would not justify 5 times the price.

    For the price, I think the Rogues are a better value and make an excellent starter mandolin for someone who is not sure they will want to stick with it. They sound okay, are durable and easy to play relatively (set-up may or may not be needed) and shipping is free. I personally think they are under rated because of the "lamination" appellation.

    Incidentally, all the listings I've seen for the Rovers claim they are carved, not pressed, but who knows? Either way, I think they are overpriced and should sell for around $100 given their performance.

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  13. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Rover is fine if you can go to the store and buy it in person. I tried doing it online and ended up sending two back because of problems that should never have left the factory, one being a tailpiece that was so far off it should have been visible to the store selling it.

    The question was:

    Hello my wife is wanting to learn the mandolin but not spend a fortune on one until she is sure she will like it. Is the Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin a good starter Mando? Thanks!
    That's a yes or no question unless of course you're offering a ham sandwich.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    My first mando was a Rogue and it served me well at that time.
    "All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out." - Mark Twain

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  16. #13

    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    It would be an interesting study if you could find a hundred beginners who started on a Rogue then a hundred who started on a KM 150, then see how many were playing a year later.

    Human psychology is an interesting thing. If you hit a wall in your learning curve it is easier to pack it in than if you feel you had made a significant investment. Only one of the factors contributing to sucess, but I feel if you've made an investment in yourself, you're less likely to let yourself down. That's a primary reason I'd always say buy a very good mandolin in the first place. Buy something like a KM 150 used and it will always be worth what you paid for it. A Rogue will be a closet stuffer.
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    I have one in black that I added to a MF order just to use a coupon so I paid even less than $49! Anyway it is currently setup with DR 12's and downtuned a whole step. I ended up with something a little nicer (Loar LM110) and a couple of cases but the LM110 proved more fiddly getting setup than the rogue (it WAS a blem).

    I would say they are best used as an inexpensive trainer for learning Mandolin setup and beyond that a knock-about instrument. Mine certainly filled those roles for a reasonable sum.

  18. #15
    Registered User Yeet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    It would be an interesting study if you could find a hundred beginners who started on a Rogue then a hundred who started on a KM 150, then see how many were playing a year later.

    Human psychology is an interesting thing. If you hit a wall in your learning curve it is easier to pack it in than if you feel you had made a significant investment. Only one of the factors contributing to sucess, but I feel if you've made an investment in yourself, you're less likely to let yourself down. That's a primary reason I'd always say buy a very good mandolin in the first place. Buy something like a KM 150 used and it will always be worth what you paid for it. A Rogue will be a closet stuffer.
    I would love to see the results of this experiment! I got my Rogue years ago and while I like playing it and am glad I didn't feel too much pressure to play it all day every day (since the price felt like it didn't demand a lot of commitment from me), I did go many long periods of time without touching it at all. Probably for about 80 to 85 percent of the time, I just let it get dusty on top of my bookshelf--outta sight, outta mind.

    I actually think the quality is great for what it is...a cheap but very playable beginner instrument. But it definitely didn't give me that extra nudge to commit that a more expensive and higher quality beginner instrument like a decent Loar, Kentucky, or Eastman would have.
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